Woman of the Century/Idora M. Plowman
PLOWMAN, Mrs. Idora M., author, born near Talladega, Ala., in 1843. She is known by her pen-name "Betsy Hamilton." She is a daughter of the late Gen. William B. McClellan and of Mrs. Martha Roby McClellan. Her father traced the lineage of his family to William Wallace, IDORA M. PLOWMAN. of Scotland. He was a graduate of West Point, and before the Civil War held the office of Brigadier-General, commanding the militia troops of the counties of Talladega, Clay and Randolph, Ala. While quite young, Idora Elizabeth McClellan, became the wife of a brilliant young lawyer, Albert W. Plowman, of Talladega. Mr. Plowman died suddenly a few years after marriage. Recently Mrs. Plowman became the wife, in Atlanta, Ga., of Capt. M. V. Moore, of the editorial staff of the Atlanta "Constitution." Their home is in Auburn, Ala. "Betsy Hamilton" is the author of innumerable dialect sketches depicting the humorous side of life, life as seen by hersell on the old time plantations, and in the backwoods among the class denominated as Southern "Crackers." Her first sketch, "Betsy's Trip to Town," written in 1872, was printed in a Talladega paper. The article revealed at once the fine and wonderful genius of its author. She was afterwards regularly engaged for a number of years on the great southern weekly, "Sunny South." and on the "Constitution," papers published in Atlanta, Ga. Her articles were entitled "The Backwoods," "Familiar Letters," and "Betsy Hamilton to Her Cousin Saleny." At the personal request of Mr. Conant, the editor of "Harper's Weekly," several of her sketches went to that paper, and were illustrated as they appeared in its columns. The late Henry W. Grady was her warm personal friend and aided much in bringing her talent before the world. Her articles have been copied in some of the European papers. While the "Betsy Hamilton Sketches" have given their author a wide fame and deserved popularity, doubtless her highest and most popular achievements have been reached in her public recitations and impersonations upon the stage of the characters she has so vividly portrayed. Her acting is to the very life; it has been pronounced of the very highest and most superb order, one writer calling her the "Joe Jefferson" among women.